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Why are mental disorders so hard to treat?

Why isn't psychiatry as advanced as the other branches of medicine today?

Why are neurology and the inner workings of the brain still a mystery to us?

8 Answers

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  • Rascal
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Mental disorders are so hard to treat because they differ greatly from person to person. If a person suffers from (lets say) a heart attack, doctors know exactly what to do to treat it, and the treatment works for the majority of patients.

    With mental issues you have to look at the patients past, upbringing, life events, health problems, traumatic events, chemical imbalances... etc etc etc. No two mental disorders are the same. You cant really group them into one group and give them one treatment.

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  • ?
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    That's a great question. In my opinion, in the case of neurology, both the nature of neuroscience research and of neurological diseases are factors. Neuroscience research is very much physics-based and requires a lot of technology- which obviously wasn't available in the past. In the 1990's (The "Decade of the Brain") there was an explosion in neuroscience research as technology improved. Furthermore, neurological diseases are chronic (for the most part) and have become more common as the average lifespan has increased. I would imagine that more research funding is directed to curing more deadly diseases, whereas less is directed to curing conditions that mostly affect quality of life. However, I think that this is changing to some degree. NIH provides about equal funding for "cancer" and "brain disorders."

    In the case of psychiatry/psychology, research and progress has may have been limited due to the lack of technology as well as the presence of competing philosophies or "schools of thought" such as behaviorism.

    I highly recommend that you read work by Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (MD, PhD). He does some amazing research in cognitive neuroscience in areas like phantom limb sensation, synesthesia. He has a lot of interesting theories on some of the most important questions regarding human nature- Do we have a soul? Is there a god part of the brain? etc.

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  • Arjen
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    the most simple question is because the brain is very complex.

    But don't underestimate the time and energy that is put in research against diseases. Some diseases take 10 years of research.

    Diseases are in a way easier to research. It's often chemicals that have a certain way of interacting. These days they do a lot of simulations that help.

    So on diseases are pretty straightforward (there's more logic) while the brains can act very differently.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Because the brain itself is still a mystery. We only use a small portion of it according to what we do know... what's the rest used for? No one knows. And as for mental disorders. Most people who need help don't seek it and those who do sometimes lie about their symptoms to either be prescribed medication or to not be "crazy" in a medical report.

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  • LA
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The brain is a complex organ. Whereas physicians can closely examine a patient's physical injury, psychiatrists can't look into a person's brain and see what exactly is going on. Some of it has to involve trial and error.

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  • 1 decade ago

    There are so many different types of mental disorders that it is hard to know what to treat them with, then people are allergic to the medication or it does them no good, so it takes awhile to find out how to deal with the disorders.

    Source(s): Hospital, doctors' offices.
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Patient's have stronger feelings about having mental disorders than they have about other disorders. If you tell someone her blood pressure is too high, she won't raise it to spite you. But tell someone he has an oppositional defiant disorder and he'll try to stand and argue with you until you take it back. This can create issues with patient compliance, and physician patience.

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  • 1 decade ago

    there are so many things that factor in.... the human phyche, what we eat, spirituality, environmental factors... it's not as simple as finding pills to treat everything, it's so much deeper than that and it extends beyond psychiatry and neurology.

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